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Living in the Okanagan and British Columbia area we are so lucky to have so many farmers and artisan cheese, meat and bread makers that we sometimes take it all for granted and miss out on so many amazing local products. In saying that, when our culinary team and I wrote our new winter menus we wanted to make sure we are using a few things from the area and highlight them on our menus, such as the farmers cheese (quark cheese) from Smits & Co.w Farm Cheese in Chilliwack B.C.

Quark cheese is a fresh style cheese made from warming soured milk until the desired amount of curding is met, then straining the curds. The flavour is reminiscent of sour cream, smooth and soft texture similar to a cream cheese.

After tasting this sublime local cheese we knew it had to be on our winter menu, so we devolved a braised beet recipe just for this cheese that we feel works extremely well with Smits & Co.w Farmer’s Cheese.

Here is the recipe for the braised beets that we have on our current winter menu as Farmer’s Cheese and Braised Beets

Braised Beets

10-15 large red beets
3 shallot (rough chopped)
10 clove garlic
7 sprigs parsley
1 sprig rosemary
10 bay leaf
2 1/2 tbsp black pepper corn
1/2 tsp fennel seed
250g brown sugar
550g red wine
250g red wine vinegar
2500g vegetable stock


  1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
  2. Place all the Ingredients into a 3-4 inch oven safe pan (casserole dish) cover with parchment paper & wrap with tin foil
  3. Place in pre-heated oven for 2 hours.
  4. Check with tip off knife if tender and slides off ITS DONE, if not place back in for 10-15 minutes at a time till tender
  5. Let cool for 15 minutes then strain, keep liquid (can be used again for a second braise) peel beets with a clean towel, cut can be served warm or chilled and kept in the fridge for a few days.

John Stratton l Executive Chef